Why George Washington rejected a military parade in his honor

Portrait_of_George_Washington

George Washington by Rembrandt Peale

From The Washington Post by Linda M. Chervinsky author of The President’s Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution:

Washington, the first in the pantheon of American military heroes to become president, refused pomp and circumstance as the trappings of monarchy, not a virtuous republic. If the parade occurs, it will demonstrate Donald Trump’s contempt for civilian authority and flout the established governing norms of the republic.

On Oct. 24, 1789, President Washington entered Boston on the back of a large white stallion. This visit was the first time he had returned to the city since the Continental Army had liberated it from the British fleet in March 1776. Washington could have ridden into Boston a conquering hero with full fanfare — parades, feasts, military demonstrations, fireworks, cannons and countless toasts.

Instead, the day before his arrival, Washington pleaded with Gov. John Hancock to limit the celebrations. He then informed Maj. Gen. John Brooks, commander of the Middlesex Militia, that he would not review the militia or observe any special military maneuvers. As a private man, he could only pass down the line of troops assembled to greet him. There would be neither military parades nor any military operations for the newly inaugurated civilian leader.

Read the article at The Washington Post

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Categories: United States History

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